We caught up with family business – Style a Chair who are based in Leven, Fife. They provide the spectacular event decor for many of the weddings and celebrations that take place at Rufflets, supplying chair covers, chiavari chairs, table linen, centre-pieces and more.
When did your you start the business?
We started Style a Chair in 2009, a year before we were getting married. Our own wedding plans really kick-started the business when we bought a set of chair covers and originally intended to share the cost with a cousin. We realised there was a gap in the market and decided to hire them out and began our own business.
Is it a family business? Which family members are involved?
It is very much a family business. Myself (Laura), my husband (Ewan) and our three children, Amy 15, Finlay 11 & Fraser 11 are all involved. Ironing, planning, packing van’s and setting up are all parts of the business we get involved with as a family. My mum Frances is also called upon in the busier summer months as well as making sashes and repairing linens.
How did you come up with the idea for the business?
Accidentally through our own wedding plans. There was never any intention to ‘start a business’. We realised that there were probably lots of other potential brides and grooms looking for chair covers and this was our impetus for launching the business.
What were you both doing prior to starting the business? Did you have experience in the industry?
I was working full time as a staff nurse in cardiology at the Victoria hospital in Kirkcaldy and Ewan was at home with the children. Amy was 4 and the twins were less than a year old, so neither one of us really had much experience in the industry.
What other services do you provide for events?
We have expanded into table centre-pieces, table linens, napkins chiavari chairs, wooden LED signs, backdrops and mood lighting.
Rufflets is of course one of your customers, but do you supply other hotels or venues in the area?
We are the recommended supplier at Balbirnie House, The Bay Hotel, Falkand Estate, Atholl Palace Pitlochry, and Drummonds hotel Markinch.
What advice would you give to somebody thinking about starting their own business? There are of course highs and lows in any job or business but can you give us some of yours?
Be prepared to work hard and realise working for yourself is not as glamorous as it may seem, and nothing comes for free! The hours are unsocial and it can be difficult to plan time off as clients get in touch all the time to ask questions and make appointments to discuss decor at our showroom in Leven…..even on Boxing day and Easter Sunday! The highs are of course setting up a venue and the bride and groom seeing the finished result. Sometimes there are tears (of joy off course!) and the wee message, card or email expressing thanks for all we have done to contribute to their ‘ big day’. There are not a lot of lows in venue decor to be honest. Clients are generally excited and happy whilst planning their big day which makes the meetings and planning very positive for everyone involved.